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Posts Tagged ‘audience’

The New “Press Kit”

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The “Press Kit”, which typically includes a demo, photos, printed reviews, the artist or band’s biography, etc., is now available electronically, and artists are using the electronic press kit (EPK) and artist profile to replace the traditional method. Either in digital or online format, an EPK is available to anyone at all times, and is a far more cost effective way to present your music. Tim Sweeney, one of the music industry’s most sought after experts and consultants, says: ” Get rid of your Press Kit. Finally focus on creating an Artist Profile that will best represent you to radio, retail, press, clubs and online.”

According to Ariel Hyatt’s Music Think Tank article, The ugly man behind the curtain in music publicity…the cost of submitting a traditional Press Kit equals this: 500 Press Kits in the Mail = $2,500, a publicist’s 3 month retainer = $9,000, Extra expenses = $1500, a whopping total = $13,000. The article is written to expose music publicity’s “dirty little secret”, the resale of promo CDs distributed to music journalists on the promo list. The unethical practice revealed in this article, adds to the already growing mistrust in the old way of doing music business. “40,000 CDs come out every year and that means hundreds of thousands of CDs will be mailed out for review consideration.” According to LAweekly.com: finding anybody in the music business to actually talk about this vast and ever-fluctuating underground economy is tough….. Ask a publicist what he does with unwanted promos and there’s usually an awkward pause, as though you’d just asked after his porno collection. Few are willing to go on the record regarding their income stream for fear of being blacklisted…..“Everybody sells them, let’s be realistic,” says one prominent L.A. music publicist.

The ever more acceptable DIY music career allows artists greater control, and spares the monetary and emotional expense of using a traditional music publicist. Tim Sweeney also offers this piece of advice: “Throw away your press kit and one sheet that “supposed” publicists and radio promotion people think is right (but only signifies you as a non-priority that people can ignore) and create an Artist Profile. One that talks about who you are as an artist and what your music is about.

A brave new era of music self release…

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

According to NewMusicStrageties.com some artists still believe record labels are the best way to get their music out to the public. Artists believe there is security in being signed to a record label. The idea is that a major label provides people in the music industry that know what they are doing, they understand marketing, they have things like connections, promotion strategies, radio pluggers, PR, graphic design, branding, distribution, chart registration, bar codes, licensing, finance, and deals on pressing all sorted out – they are the corporate caretakers of the music business, and 20% of something is better than 100% of nuthin’. Their experience and advice, the guidance and navigation through all the decision making, is worth giving up the 80%.

There is substantial benefit in having a major behind you to advance studio money, and cutting the checks for the cost of promotional events to market your image – but, being “signed” to a major label is not the only means of getting your music to market. Its now common for an artist to be without major label backing, and he/she/they are no longer considered “unsigned”. Known as an “Independent”, modern technology has delivered the brave new era of self-release. The independent artist has the tools to record, release, distribute, promote and make money from their music on their own terms, keeping the profits and rights to their intellectual property.

The question is when should you begin marketing and selling your music online? In the old days of music publishing, the finished recording was the minimum standard for releasing material to the general public. Without the professional guidance from a seasoned music executive, how will you know when to start letting people hear what you’re working on? Well respected author and consultant Andrew Dubber says, depending upon whether you’re a beginner or a pro, and how confident you are in your professional abilities, “There can be a strong case made that encourages musicians to let audiences get a glimpse behind the curtain and see the music in development.” By and large and after all consideration, the answer can only be when you are ready. When you have prepared yourself mentally, emotionally and your song speaks to you and tells you that you’re ready. Not to worry, if you do need some solid advice, there are professionals who can help you master the era of self release.

giving back to the independent community…

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

It now seems that major labels Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music no longer have a firm grip on the artist or the industry, and the old model of doing business their way is a thing of the past.

On the forefront of an ever-changing music industry, is Brian Message, manager of the alternative band Radiohead. Brian Message along with co-founders, Adam Driscoll, chief executive of the British media company MAMA Group, and Terry McBride, founder of the Vancouver-based management firm Nettwerk Music Group and former manager of Barenaked Ladies, have united to form the new business venture, Polyphonic. Polyphonic will look to invest in new and rising unsigned artists and then help them create a sound relationship with their audiences over the Internet. Artists will operate like start-up companies, record their own music, and choose outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring. The Polyphonic founders plan to invest $300,000 in each band. The firm will then guide the musician and manager who will function a little like the band’s chief executive, to services that will help promote the artist’s online presence.

Polyphonic and similar firms are seen as a risky investment by private investors. For the founders of Polyphonic, giving back to the independent community, and mentoring the new artist or band appears to outweigh that risk. Success is all about giving back. Witnessing the dedication and commitment to the independent community by those that go before you is a valuable lesson in filling the gap between artist and label – a practice we should all remember!

Source: New York Times, 2009/07/22

Is Music for free really a good idea?

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Last week we blogged about giving away music as a promotional tool for artists.

We’re further writing about this because it’s becoming common practice. What is all this talk about just giving it away? Well, typically, artists who give away their music generally generate more income than those who don’t. Why? Simple, the general population loves free stuff! Once given a free CD, the consumer listens to it, likes it, and tells a friend. That friend then tells another friend, and so on and so forth. Exposure.
It’s all a part of the number one rule of music business, one that the record industry has forgotten: Hear, Like, Buy. In that order exactly.

Circulating free CDs allows the artist to reach a broader audience, creating a fan base, eventually resulting in sales and popularity! But it isn’t just the music industry that utilizes the “freebie” marketing strategy. Television can be live streamed on the Internet. Movies, music, video games; you name it, the Internet has it. A man by the name of Chris Anderson of the Wall Street Journal is convinced that people will pay to listen to live streamed music from their iPhones. Why? Well, if there is an application for the iPhone a consumer must purchase to listen to live streamed music, most consumers will do it.  A growing number of people depend on their iPhones for all sorts of things, including the Internet. So, what does this mean for the general artist?  What exactly are your rights? How do you protect your slice of the apple pie?

At Pro Soul, We help our artists build a growing audience, earn income even when giving music away, and avoid costly mistakes without giving up any of the rights to their music.

How politics can hurt your fan base

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

It’s hard not to get caught up with politics when it is constantly in your face in the media. Many artists have done this on their own sites, blogs, and social networking profiles, but it can be a bad move for an artist trying to connect with their audience effectively.

Artist consultant Tim Sweeney describes it well. “Many artists are taking the dangerous position of dividing their fan base instead of uniting them. They are seeing a growing number of their fans either remove themselves from their mailing list or stop coming to shows and supporting them because they have started sending out political endorsements for one person or one side on different issues. While we would hope that election times would bring people together to discuss the issues and collectively move ahead, it usually only stirs emotional reactions to make people fight against each other for different personal reasons.”

Of course, artists want to promote things that are good for the community of their audience, or help them get involved in improving society, and that is a good thing. As long as it’s not done in a negative way, artists will get a more positive response from their fans.

Tim goes on to get philosophical on the subject: “Music artists should be ‘community builders.’ We should bring people together not divide them… Let your fans see you as someone who is bringing people together so they want to support you and bring new fans to you!

And he’s right; artists have always positively changed society, so why not you? This approach has been proven to work in building a strong, supportive audience, so start putting it to work. Better yet, get Pro Soul to help you do it!